The Milan Duomo is an architectural wonder you must see when visiting Milan. Getting a bird’s eye view of the city while walking on the terraces and roof of the Duomo is a unique experience you won’t soon forget. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know for how to visit the Milan Duomo, from tickets to great tours to take and what to see inside. This way, you’ll be prepared to visit one of the greatest cathedrals in the world.
Pro Tip: Planning what to do on your trip to Milan? Bookmark this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you’re in the city. Check out our guide to Milan for more planning resources, our best Milan tours for a memorable trip, and the top things to do in Milan.
Visiting the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano): What We’ll Cover
The Milan Duomo (duomo is Italian for “cathedral”) is the centerpiece of the city and is unmissable. The Duke of Milan commissioned the church in 1386. In Italy, the Milan Duomo is second only to St. Peter’s Basilica in size. Inside is an enormous 12,000 square feet of marble supported by 52 pillars. The famous neo-Gothic facade is adorned with 3,400 statues and 135 spires.
A solo trip to the cathedral can be overwhelming because there are a variety of tickets available. We make it easy with great guided Milan Duomo tours to streamline the process and help you fully appreciate the history and significance of this building. In this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know about how to visit the Milan Duomo. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Opening hours and tickets
- How much time to budget for your visit
- What to see at the Milan Duomo
- Guided tour options
- Facts and history of the Milan Duomo
- Places to eat nearby
Milan Duomo Opening Hours and Tickets
Before you plan anything else, you need to know the Milan Duomo hours. Lucky for you, the Milan Duomo terraces are open every day from 9 am to 7 pm, and the cathedral is open from 8 am to 7 pm. The last admission to the rooftop terraces and cathedral is 6:10 pm. The Duomo museum is closed on Wednesdays.
- Cathedral: Monday – Sunday, 8 am – 7 pm
- Rooftop Terraces: Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 7 pm
- Museum: Thursday – Tuesday, 10:00 am – 5:10 pm
Tickets can be purchased next to the Duomo or online. If you are facing the Duomo, the ticket office is in a separate building on the right-hand side. There’s usually a massive queue for the ticket office. If you find yourself in line, trust me, it’s worth jumping online and trying to buy tickets on your phone—and it’s likely a quicker process.
- Cathedral ticket: €3 (includes crypt)
- Rooftop and terraces: €10 stairs or €14 lift.
- Archeological area: €7 (includes cathedral, crypt, and archeological area)
Pro Tip: For a great day of streamlined sightseeing, the Milan Duomo is included in some of our Milan Tours. You’ll learn from a passionate guide how the Milan Duomo fits into Milan’s long history.
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our Milan Guide for more resources.
How Much Time To Budget for the Milan Duomo
Short Answer: 2 hours
If you’re going to the Milan Cathedral and wondering how long to visit, you’ve come to the right place. The interior is massive—the biggest church in Italy—so that should be something to consider. Combine that with the rooftop terraces’ epic views and architectural details, and you will easily spend 2 hours taking it all in.
You can spend hours on the rooftop, especially on a sunny day. I like to budget 45 minutes for the interior and an hour for the rooftop terraces. If it’s going to be a hot sunny day, climb up to the rooftop first and then enjoy the cool, dark cathedral during the heat of the day.
Pro Tip: Remember, the Milan Duomo is closed for a few hours on Sundays 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, but the rooftop terraces still remain open.
What To See at the Milan Cathedral
Once you’re inside this amazing building, keep an eye out for these top things to see at the Duomo:
- The White Marble Facade
- St. Bartholomew by Marco d’Agrate
- The Altar of the Virgin of the Tree
- The crypt of St. Carlo Borromeo
- The golden Madonna, seen from the terraces
Milan Duomo Tour Options
Unless you’re planning a trip to Milan on a shoestring, you should definitely consider a guided tour of the Duomo. Besides the line-skipping benefits of visiting with a guide, the cathedral is filled with history that spans over 700 years.
It’s hard to know what you should see in a historic juggernaut like the Duomo, but our guides make it easy. Here are a few of our favorite tours. Also, see a complete list of our Milan Tours.
You can’t miss two of the top sites in Milan! Book a guided tour that gives you skip-the-line access to visit the famous Milan Cathedral and the Sforza Castle. Climb to the top of the Duomo and take in the incredible views of the Milanese skyline from the renowned terraces. Your guide will lead you through the interior of the largest church in Italy, which took nearly 600 years to complete. Finally, explore the Sforza Castle—the great citadel that protected Milan for centuries.
Two of the top sites in Milan, skip the line and visit the Duomo and the Sforza Castle. Climb to the top of the Duomo and take in the incredible views of the Milanese skyline from the exclusive terraces. See the interior of the largest church in Italy, which took nearly 600 years to complete. On this tour, your local guide will then lead you to the Sforza Castle, the great citadel that protected Milan for centuries.
Want a more exclusive and personalized experience in Milan? Then a private walking tour is perfect for you. With the help of a local guide, you (and only those you booked with) can explore the top attractions in the city including the iconic Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Sforza Castle, and the renowned La Scala Theater. Plus, you’ll have a Campari tasting that set the stage for the beloved tradition of Italian aperitivo.
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our Milan Guide for more resources.
Facts and History of the Duomo
Learning about an attraction before you visit can really enhance your experience and anticipation. Plus you can impress your fellow travelers. Here are some interesting bits of history about the cathedral.
- The Milan Duomo was commissioned by Gian Galeazzo Visconti who later became the first Duke of Milan in 1386.
- It took nearly 600 years to complete the cathedral.
- The Milan Duomo is the largest church in Italy, larger than St. Peter’s Basilica.
- The interior floor is 12,000 square meters.
- Saint Carlo Borromeo, the hometown Cardinal and leader of the counter-reformation, is buried in the crypt.
- 135 spires rise up from the cathedral and are best seen up close on the terraces.
- The architectural style is Gothic and the façade is Neo-Gothic.
Places To Eat Nearby
There are multiple restaurants and cafés near the Milan Duomo if you plan to visit around lunch or dinner. You have endless food options since the cathedral is at the city’s epicenter. Here is a short selection of places to eat I’ve personally visited and frequently feature on our Instagram page. For more options, check out our full article on the best restaurants near the Milan Cathedral.
Near the Duomo:
Savini: €€ | Coffee & Gelato—The venerable cafe inside the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele is one of the first places espresso debuted in Milan. They also have an adjacent gelato stand.
Lavazza Flagship Store: €€ | Coffee—One of the most well-known coffee brands in Italy, has a flagship store and café on the other side of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
Camparino: €€ | Drinks—This historic bar in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele has excellent views of the Duomo and is where the famous Campari Spritz was born. It’s an ideal place for an afternoon aperitivo.
Al Cantinone: €- €€ | Traditional Dishes—This classic osteria has been around since the ’30s. They serve traditional dishes like Risotto alla Milanesa.
Paper Moon Giardino: €€€ | Upscale Dining—If you want a nice lunch to kick off shopping on Montenapoleone, book a table here. Beautiful traditional Milanese dishes never fail here.